A rain delay slowed Richmond’s road to a third straight sectional title.
But not by much.
The Red Devils quickly took care of business Saturday morning en route to a 4-1 victory over Northeastern and a 24th overall sectional championship.
Richmond’s singles trio of Peyton Young, Katy Robinson and Kaitlyn Kramer all won matches to clinch the crown in a final that started Friday afternoon, but was completed Saturday after rain halted play.
“We played well, and it kind of takes the pressure off our doubles. Our singles did a great job today,” said RHS coach Randy Hollingsworth.
Richmond moves on to next week’s regional tournament, also hosted by the Red Devils on the Tiernan Center courts.
“I think we have a really good chance (in the regional),” said Young, who won Saturday 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.
Young said words from Hollingsworth and assistant Adam Derengowski were instrumental in the victory.
“(They) gave us a bunch of pep talks yesterday (Friday). I think that really inspired everybody to do this well,” Young said.
Robinson won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, with Kramer taking a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 3.
Krissy Kramer and Emma Lady completed Richmond’s winning score with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph at No. 2 doubles.
Northeastern’s No. 1 doubles duo of Kristian Ketron and Claire Ladd won 7-5, 6-0, keeping them undefeated in sectional play. Centerville’s No. 1 singles, Brittany Jones, also was undefeated in sectional competition. Both spots advance in the individual tournament.
“They relaxed a little more,” Northeastern coach Mike Esposito said of Ketron and Ladd. “Today they turned it around.”
The Knights finished their season 14-3, and won the Tri-Eastern Conference Tournament for a second straight season to share the overall title with Centerville.
“I thought our team hit the ball well all day long,” Esposito said. “We did everything in our game plan. They (Richmond) took care of business against us. They adjusted and played really well. They won every critical point.
” … Very satisfied with our season.”
Richmond is now 9-5 and will face Rushville, the Connersville sectional winner, on Tuesday in the Richmond regional.
Shenandoah, champion of the New Castle sectional, and East Central, winner at South Dearborn, also will play Tuesday, with the semifinal winners meeting Wednesday for the regional championship.
The Richmond regional champion advances to the May 25 semistate at Center Grove opposite the Plainfield regional winner.
“We played really well. I think the last couple of weeks, we’ve really improved as a team,” Hollingsworth said. “I say this over and over, but we’ve just done a nice job of not beating ourselves.
“We’re not flashy by any means, but you have to come out and you have to beat us.”